Hospital administrators face budget decisions that can mean life or death. In this environment, more providers are opting for remodeling of existing facilities instead of building new ones.
That shift creates new challenges and potential risks, including exposing patients to contaminants that can lead to hospital acquired infections, which kill more than 100,000 people yearly in the United States and Canada. Adding to the human loss are the medical costs of these infections, which range as high as $45 billion a year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In response to the needs of the medical community and contractors that serve it, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters developed an innovative training and qualification program that teaches members how to reduce the risk of contamination while working in occupied healthcare facilities.
Construction ICRA-trained carpenters are trained to react quickly when unforeseen conditions show up inside or outside containment areas.
Construction ICRA: Best Practices in Healthcare Construction delivers the comprehensive skill-sets for containing pathogens, controlling airflow, protecting patients, and productively performing work without disrupting adjacent operations. Carpenters receive knowledge and training for particulate counters, HEPA machines, air changes per hour, magnehelic gauges, working in occupied spaces, contained areas, PPE gear, and more. Training also stresses the reading and understanding of the ICRA form, working with the facility on their Interim Life Safety Measures (ILSM) and ICRA. The goal is not to rewrite the facility’s protocol, but rather to work in unison to ensure the safest environment for the patients and staff during construction. This training is active and ongoing here in the Central South Carpenters Regional Council.